Delicious food, a live band, and décor that made guests feel like they walked into a winter wonderland were just some of the highlights of the new Richmond MBA Holiday Celebration in December 2017.

“We knew that we couldn’t replicate The Jefferson, so we didn’t try,” said Dr. Randy Raggio, director of The Richmond MBA. “We went with something completely new and different, and I think we succeeded.”

Nearly 200 Richmond MBA alumni, faculty, students, and staff celebrated another year of The Richmond MBA by looking back at the accomplishments of 2017, and recognizing those who made it all possible.

“It truly was a celebration of the program: attendees were able to reconnect with staff and alumni, we shared an update on the program, noted the latest ratings information, highlighted opportunities for alumni to engage, and honored Mark Hourigan, GB’87, as an impactful alumnus,” Dr. Raggio said.

Hourigan is the first recipient of the Richmond MBA impactful alumnus award. As president of Hourigan Construction, he has been heavily involved in the Richmond community, as well as the MBA program for more than 30 years.

“Mark is active in the community, providing leadership and expertise to the boards of multiple schools in the area, including the Robins School of Business,” Dr. Raggio said. “We are extremely proud of everything he’s done for RVA.”

Alice Scott, current president of The Richmond MBA Alumni Society, consulted on the new format of the holiday celebration, and the Society is working to provide new opportunities for alumni engagement throughout the year. 

“Networking and relationships are key to success in business,” Scott said. “The Richmond MBA has a wonderful reputation, and when alumni connect in the professional world, it’s an opportunity to create mutually beneficial relationships.”

Alumni can also get involved in other events throughout the year, including tailgates for Spider football and basketball games, the VACEO/Richmond MBA women’s event, Future-Proofing Your Career, and The Richmond MBA Alumni Society Golf Tournament, which has added a wine-tasting opportunity for non-golfers to enjoy.

“I hope to see more alumni getting involved. We have so many opportunities to help alumni to be engaged in the program throughout the year,” Scott said.

Raggio agrees, and hopes the new format of the holiday celebration can be a springboard for alumni.

“We need alumni engagement.  Not just financial, but through their active involvement in programs and planning.  We don’t want the MBA staff making all the decisions on what alumni want or need,” Dr. Raggio said. “Active alumni involvement signals that the program isn’t just something that you’ve done; it’s a community that continues to create value for current students and alumni.”